Howlin’ Wolf, a nickname for Chester Arthur Burnett, was an American Blues musician, born on June 10, 1910, in White Station, Mississippi. Ranked at #51 by the Rolling Stone Magazine in the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and arguably deserving a better spot on the list, Wolf is without a doubt one of the most influential musicians the world has even seen. With his strong, penetrating voice and incredible skills behind the guitar, Wolf produced some of the most popular Blues songs. The Chicago Blues star had a very difficult childhood, as his parents had separated and was later treated harshly by his mother and uncle. Despite his troubled past, Wolf would become arguably the most influential Blues musician of the 20th century.
One of Wolf’s earliest influences was Charlie Patton, an important blues musician of Mississippi at the time. After hearing Patton play for days that turned into months, Wolf began learning the guitar from him. Around the same time, Wolf was also impressed by the music of the Mississippi Sheiks, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red, Blind Blake, and Tommy Johnson. One of the earliest songs Wolf learnt was Blind Jefferson’s “Match Box Blues“. Impressed by Jimmie Rodger’s ‘yodling’ in his songs, Wolf furnished his own singing with the classic ‘howling’ heard in so many of his tracks. Throughout the 1930s, Wolf performed with many artists such as Floyd Jones, Johnny Shines and Honeyboy Edwards, and after serving a brief period in the military in World War II, formed a band with guitarist Willie Johnson and harmonica player Junior Parker. It was only in the early 1950s when Wolf really began to make it in to the mainstream blues scene of the time. His earliest songs, including “How Many More Years” and “Riding in the Moonlight” were recorded in 1951, firmly popularizing him in the local community as a prolific musician. Over the next few years, Wolf regularly changed guitarists and other musicians in his band, attracting a number of famous guitarists in to the Chicago Blues